February 12, 2013
Right now, the entire state of Indiana is once again thriving as the basketball capital of the world. Sure, basketball may not have been born in Indiana, but the state is the heart and soul of the game.
It’s not that basketball ever left the state, but the attention did for quite some time. After Reggie Miller retired from the Indiana Pacers and Bobby Knight was removed as head coach of the University of Indiana Hoosiers, the correlation of Indiana and the game of basketball became seemingly forgotten about. For what seems to be a lifetime in basketball years, Indiana was a second-class citizen
Then, the small school of Butler forged their way into the national spotlight. The Bulldogs became the Cinderella team for two consecutive years in 2010-11, making the Final Four, but coming up just short in the national final in both years.
Butler missed out on the Madness last season, but is currently ranked No. 11 in the country with a 20-4 record and will undoubtedly be dancing once again this season.
Notre Dame is also ranked at the moment and the University of Purdue is around .500, but considering they play in the ultra-tough B1G Conference a strong finish to the season could mean a ticket to the dance.
While these teams are definitely on the college basketball radar, it’s the Hoosiers who bring the state such recognition. While it’s been tough for any college team to solidify themselves as the No. 1 overall team, the Hoosiers are as good as any team in the country.
Head coach Tom Crean has officially put the Hoosiers and the state of Indiana back on the map. It took Crean four years to bring the school back to prominence, but now they are a favorite to win it all.
Regardless of who wins it all this season, there’s a great chance that a team from the state of Indiana will be around late in the tournament.
On the NBA front, the Indiana Pacers are an up-and-coming superpower too
Heading into this season, the Pacers were in the discussion for playoff contention. Now, with the All Star Game just around the corner, they have positioned themselves as legitimate title contenders.
The Pacers may be near the bottom of the entire NBA in scoring at 92.8 points/game, but it’s their stingy defense that makes them tough to topple. The only allow 90.2 points/game and are the league’s best rebounding team. A similar historical team to compare them to is the Detroit Pistons of a decade ago. The Pistons didn’t have the best offense, but they won with defense. The Pacers could be that team of this generation.
What’s most impressive about the Pacers is that they’ve been winning without Danny Granger, their best player who is sidelined with a knee injury for the entire season to this point.
Their current record of 31-21 is third best in the Eastern Conference. Granger is set to come back soon which should boost their scoring. All young NBA teams need to learn to win on the road and the Pacers are only 11-16 thus far, but that means they only have 14 road games left. A realistic goal would be to go 7-7 in those games and give them some road confidence heading into the playoffs.
In any event, they aren’t to be taken lightly and have made themselves a factor.
In total, the state of Indiana is thriving because of their favorite pastime of basketball. Regardless of where you’re from, this is great to see. In short, it simply brings the best out of the game.
March 18, 2011
Just for fun, we put together a Fathead NCAA Tournament bracket based completely on the March sales (so far) of the schools in the tournament. For every match-up, we selected the team with the higher Fathead sales for the month. And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that we don’t carry product for every school that made the tournament — yet.
Based on our model, here is our Sweet Sixteen. You’ll notice that we’ve already got a few wrong…
1. Ohio State
4. Penn State
4. Notre Dame
I’ll update next week with our Final Four. And now, the best selling Fatheads of the last week…
The top selling Fatheads of the last 7 days (Mar. 11 – Mar. 17):
3. Derrick Rose
4. Kobe Bryant
March 1, 2011
Insanity. Frenzy. Intense excitement. These words aren’t just a description of the Macho Man Randy Savage. They are also in dictionary.com’s definition of “madness”. Savage frequently referred to himself as “The Madness” and said “The Madness is running wild!”
The Macho Man may not be the world champion anymore, but every March the madness returns in the form of the NCAA basketball tournament. Every year millions of people around the country fill out their brackets and enter the office pool for one of the biggest sporting events in the world known as “March Madness”.
The 2011 edition of this tournament promises to live up to the “madness” billing and give us an exciting and unpredictable tournament. This year the madness started a couple weeks early. Kansas, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Texas (three times), Pittsburgh (twice), Notre Dame, Ohio State, Arizona (twice), Duke and San Diego St. are all top 10 teams in the poll who have lost in the last two weeks. Four of the top six lost this weekend, and the upsets should continue throughout the tournament.
The tournament itself will be different this year as well. The NCAA has increased the number of teams from 65 to 68. The last four at-large teams selected and the four lowest ranked automatic qualifying teams will play in the “First Four” on March 15-16. The at-large winners will advance to the main draw of the tournament, most likely as an 11 or 12 seed. The two winners of the automatic qualifiers will advance to face a No. 1 seed.
Television coverage of the tournament will also be different this year. The NCAA agreed to a new deal with CBS Sports and Turner Sports. Now, every game of the tournament will be televised nationally on CBS, TNT, TBS or TruTV.
As of today, Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, BYU, and Pittsburgh are likely in the discussion to be the four No. 1 seeds. The fight for the final spots in the tournament is much less clear. 31 teams will qualify by winning the automatic berth from their conference. That leaves 37 spots for the selection committee to fill.
Assuming the top teams in each conference win the conference tournaments, (which we know is not going to happen), there another 24 teams who should be a lock to make the field of 68. This leaves 13 tournament bids and somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 teams fighting for them.
The road to the Final 4 begins today with the Big South and the Horizon League conference tournaments getting underway. The first three teams will punch their tickets for the big dance on March 5, and when Selection Sunday rolls around on March 13 the field will be set, and the madness will be running wild. I’m sure the Macho Man will be watching.
Teams thought to be locks:
BYU, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, George Mason, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, San Diego State, St. John’s, Syracuse, Temple, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Villanova, Wisconsin, Xavier
Teams in the conversation:
Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Belmont, Boston College, Butler, Cincinnati, Clemson, Cleveland State, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Harvard, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Missouri State, Nebraska, Old Dominion, Penn State, Richmond, Saint Mary’s, Southern Miss, Tennessee, UAB, UNLV, USC, Utah State, Vanderbilt, VCU, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Wichita State
February 25, 2011
Here’s some proof that school spirit is stronger than the success of a school’s basketball team. Below are the 50 best selling colleges on Fathead.com over the last month. By our estimates, only about half of them will make the NCAA Tournament.
The top selling colleges of the last 30 days:
1. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Penn State
11. Michigan State
15. Miami (FL)
19. West Virginia
29. Florida State
30. Oklahoma State
32. Virginia Tech
34. Boise State
38. Arizona State
42. South Carolina
44. Georgia Tech
45. Kansas State
47. Iowa State
50. Oregon State
And, of course, here is the weekly list of top Fathead sellers. The Super Bowl hype is beginning to fade, and with it, the NFL’s stronghold on list. While many NFL Fatheads remain, the league has given up some ground to the NBA on the heels of a great NBA All-Star Weekend.
The top selling Fatheads of the last 7 days (Feb. 18 – Feb. 24):
1. Kobe Bryant
8. Rajon Rondo
10. Derrick Rose
November 25, 2009
With all of the great new products we keep rolling out at Fathead, it’s no great stretch to say that it’s pretty easy to get excited about what we’re working on. That excitement got a kick in the pants recently when we started putting together our brand new collegiate legends line. As a huge football fan, I couldn’t tell you how thrilling it was to be able to be part of such a unique offering.
This product line captures the emotions of the most passionate group of sports nuts out there – college fans. With college sports more than any other, there is a loyalty between fan and player that goes unmatched. I’m a proud Michigan State Spartan and I’ll always remember fondly watching guys like Lorenzo White, Percy Snow, Derrick Mason, TJ Duckett and more recently, Javon Ringer leave it all out there on the field on Saturdays. I know this kind of nostalgia rings true with college fans everywhere. We remember those players fondly and cheer for them as they progress in their professional careers.
That’s what’s so fun about this offering. Every school has one or two of “those guys” – those iconic, face-of-the-program kind of guys who college fans will always hold near and dear and will want in their sports shrines. For our initial offering (lots more to come, I promise!), we went with some of the biggest and best schools and guys who wore those colors proudly and were game-changers in collegiate football. Guys like Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, Boomer Sooner’s Adrian Peterson and the dean of “The U”, Ray Lewis are players who helped build their programs for years to come. This is where these players got their start and die-hard football fans will always want to remember that they were there.
So what’s next? Well, let’s just say this- a lot! When I found out we were going to be able to make these great products, believe me, my imagination started running wild. There’s no limit to what we can do with this. If the schools are on-board, so are we! Every school has a recent player who left the fans awe-struck with their show-stopping skill and we hope to keep giving NCAA fans everywhere more and more of what they love. It’s been a blast so far!